Why to keep working at that bad internship

Cyntra is from Salisbury, NC and graduated from Elon University in 2010 with a B.A. in Print and Online Journalism and a minor in Digital Art. She currently works at The AroundCampus Group as a Project Design Manager, managing the aesthetics for college planners across the nation. She loves to craft, read and live out her dream of being a fashionista. Her freelance company, SentByCyntra, creates everything from flyers to burlap wreaths for those who are looking for one-of-a-kind creations. Although her life goals constantly change, she would like to write children’s books and continue expanding her own company, creating personal stationary, invitations and other fun items. Cyntra is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

While it can be the one thing most students love to hate, internships are essential to helping you gain experience in a career you’re interested in.

I know you’ve been preached their importance, endless times, by teachers. I also assume that you’re tired of your parents hounding you about them as well.

So what happens when you land that PERFECT internship, only to find out that you HATE it?

That’s right, you hate it. It’s day 5, and if you have to iron another pair of slacks or fetch another cup of coffee, you’ll scream. I mean, who wears slacks anyway, right?

Now, obviously, you have two options: you can stay, or you can go.

You would think that leaving an internship you hate is a no-brainer. But I’m here to tell you you’re wrong.

Yep. You. Are. Wrong.

As I said before, an internship helps you gain experience in a career that holds your interest. But it’s also an opportunity for you to learn other valuable skills like office dynamics and working in a professional workplace.

Many people (myself included) don’t think about what it’s like to actually work in an office. You’re too busy focusing on the job duties, which makes sense, because that’s why you got hired for the job.

But, no matter how much you excel at your daily responsibilities, if you hate waking up early, downing 3 cups of coffee, and wearing those iron-pressed slacks, you’ll definitely want to keep that in mind when you begin your career search.

This doesn’t mean you should forgo your dream of running Google. There are endless places to work and endless ways to run a company. Heck, a company I worked for had a ball-pit and spontaneous Nerf-gun wars to keep up office morale.


But I didn’t quit.

I used it as a learning opportunity. First, I complained (I’m human, right?) Then I remembered that it was paying my bills and I was creating great work for my portfolio.

So I worked on interacting with the office, shooting a few darts at my coworkers and embracing the fact that I could still shop “at the mall” because there was no strict dress-code.

Now, this can be easier said than done, especially if you accepted an internship at a place that you have NO interest in.

But I still encourage you to make the best of the experience. You won’t always be dealt the best hand in life, so if you stick it through, you’ll be better off when you’re put in similar situations.

Figure out exactly what about the internship you don’t like: the people, the duties, the random darts flying over your head; keep this in mind when you’re looking for future internships and jobs.

Also remember, that your employer needs you to fulfill your duties. In jobs with tight deadlines, heavy workloads and fast-paced atmospheres, one less person can be a big disruption in how they operate.

Having a positive attitude and seeing the internship through will allow you to at least gain a good job reference, which we know can be important, when applying for big jobs!

So chin up!

Don’t get discourage, frustrated and QUIT.

Quitting is for losers, and losers never WIN.

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